Bertold Brecht is well known for his plays, poems, short stories and contributions to theatre theory and practice. His influence is also extensive in the films of Lars von Trier, Werner Fassbinder, Nagisa, Oshima, Ritwik, Ghatak and Jean Luc Godard.
Playwright and screen-writer Trevor Griffiths uses his art to intervene politically in the events of our time. Born in Manchester in 1935 of Irish and Welsh descent, Griffiths is perhaps best-known for writing the original screenplay for Reds, Warren Beattie’s 1981 film about John Reed and the Bolshevik Revolution.
Born in 1737 in Thetford, Norfolk, Thomas Paine was importantly involved in the American and French Revolutions.
Review: The Pitmen Painters by Lee Hall (Lyttleton National Theatre)
Lee Hall’s play has orbited the country with great acclaim following its initial run last year at the National. Hall, is most famous for writing the popular Billy Elliot. The Pitmen Painters another political fable of our times, although this time, it is true events which have inspired Hall’s work.
Review of Her Naked Skin
This is the first play written by a living woman to be staged at the Olivier (National Theatre). It is a love story set against the backdrop of the suffragist struggle of the early 20th century.
Matt Cooper reviews A Good Soul of Szechuan (at the Young Vic, London, until 28 June)
In recent years there has been a renewed interest in works by the German Marxist playwright, Bertolt Brecht. This new translation of his A Good Soul of Szechuan has met with predictable abuse from the right wing press, but it is more surprising to see it attacked in the Observer by Nick Cohen for being Stalinist propaganda, and his plays therefore being of no worth.
The London socialist feminist reading group went to see Heroines of Revolution, a play by the New Factory of the Eccentric Actor.
Sacha Ismail reviews a play about the general strike, produced by New Factory of the Eccentric Actor.
A play about the Chartists whose characters include the young Friedrich Engels? Don’t get too excited.
By Stan Crooke
In November of last year the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign (SPSC) hosted Gilad Atzmon at one of their fund-raising events. Apart from being a renowned jazz musician, Atzmon is also well-known for his own brand of anti-semitism.